After free hand to Army post-Pulwama, India back to ‘talks with Pakistan’?
New Delhi, Feb 21: After the roar, has India already taken a step back? Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said in the wake of the dastardly terror attack on a CRPF convoy in Pulwama district of Jammu and Kashmir that India has given a free hand to its army to decide on the response to the attack.
He had also assured the countrymen that the sacrifices made by the martyred soldiers wouldn't go waste. His Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan hit back at India on Tuesday, February 19, saying his country won't stop short of retaliating if India took any drastic action.
Amid all the jingoism, PM Modi and Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) laid stress on the importance of "good neighbourly relations" and "agreed on the need for creation of conditions necessary for resumption of the comprehensive dialogue between India and Pakistan".
According to a report in The Telegraph, "The contents of the joint statement -- released over eight hours after the bilateral engagement -- were in sharp contrast with the aggressive post-Pulwama narrative steered by the political leadership and the Right-wing ecosystem in India."
The Ministry of External Affairs nullified speculation that the words "composite dialogue" in the text hinted at a Saudi offer to mediate between the two hostile neighbours and it was reported that the two sides were trying to arrive at a reconciliation over the text pertaining to terrorism, especially when it came to Pakistan.
It was said that both Modi and MBS underlined the significance of comprehensive sanctioning of terrorists and their outfits by the United Nations.
However, there was no clear answer when the idea of comprehensive sanctioning of terrorists tallied with the Saudi-Pakistan joint statement against the politicisation of the UN listing process.
There is yet to consensus among nations to arrive at a universal definition on terrorism and its practitioners as China has been seen blocking India's way in designating JeM leader Masood Azhar as a global terrorist time and again.
American pressure in play?
Did India soften its stand under American pressure? US President Donald Trump recently said that he would like to see India and Pakistan get along and with the US finding things going tough in Afghanistan, a deteriorating security situation in South Asia could mean more trouble and the US certainly doesn't want that to happen before it leaves Afghanistan where it is stuck for over 17 years now.
With a top leader of a close ally on tour of India, it would not be too surprising if Washington conveyed the advice of restraint to New Delhi and choose the friendly way of dialogue.